NAB – the largest commercial and business bank in Australia – will harness its existing small business sector experience by unfolding a formal business lending proposition through its third-party business, NAB Broker.
Steve Kane, general manager of NAB Broker, told The Adviser that the bank is in the very early stages of a pilot program to test out systems, processes and product.
“Our belief is that you need product, you need price and relationship, but above all else you need a consistent service because brokers rely on that service to take to their customers,” Mr Kane said.
Part of NAB’s business lending play through the broker channel involves a restructuring of its third-party support services and BDM network.
Mr Kane said the restructure could also include the credit approval process. Where previously a client’s home loan and business loan would be sent to separate areas with the bank for approval, the new process will be streamlined so that the broker and their client receive one experience.
NAB will have specialist relationship managers for small business lending as part of its broker support network.
“When we go to market in full in six to 12 months’ time it will be around making sure we inform, we train and we educate,” Mr Kane said.
He believes that between 20 and 25 per cent of broker customers are self-employed applicants with a need for business finance.
“We actually see it as a very good opportunity for brokers to expand their business,” Mr Kane said.
“Small business is the major part of the Australian marketplace.
“The majority of people who are employed in Australia are in some form of small business.
"So the needs of small business in Australia as a cohort are significant,” he added.
Mr Kane said Australian business will continue to require resources in various forms such as funding for growth, equipment finance for retooling, the purchase of assets or standard business cash flow lending.
“Those needs will [have] to be fulfilled, and I think that the broker channel is well placed to transition into that area,” he said.
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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